March 11, 2008

We Own the Night - $7

We Own the Night is an intense movie full of impressive performances which to me fell short of being a great movie, but not by much.

The root of this story is two brothers, Bobby and Joe. Joe is living to please their chief of police Father and Bobby is living to party and please his wealthy boss. At one point Bobby has to choose between the life he's created and his family as his brother is attacked by people he is connected to through the club he manages.

Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix play the two brothers well and Robert Duval gives the solid, subtle and consistent performance fans have come to expect from him as he plays their father.

We Own the Night worked for me. The family dynamic was believable, as was the struggle of Bobby to choose his family. The directing impressed and surprised me, specifically there was a chase scene in the rain that was creative and chilling and managed to make me feel like I was part of it.

Where did We Own the Night go wrong? It was slow in parts and I found the pacing very strange. In the end I just felt like it didn't have a consistent tone or feel to it.

I put We Own the Night on my 'Watch It' list but give it a modest value of $7 considering the great performances.


Trev said...

I agree with the weird pacing of the movie. I think the director really wanted the story to move with the developing characters opposed to the other way around, which I felt made this movie unique.

They could not have cast this movie any better, that's for sure.

Tony Tanti said...

No doubt on the casting. Perfect.

jon said...

i agree that there might have been something that kept this movie from outright greatness but will have to think about whether it was the pacing or what. i think trev has a good point that it seemed far more concerned with developing the characters than perhaps the typical plot-based flow. i had at first disliked the ending in the tall grass(seemed a bit drawn out and weird) but then in reflection i realized that without it i might not have left with the same sense of the joaquim character's personal journey from the start of the movie to the end.

yeah the casting was just fantastic and the roles were so well and so deeply portrayed. i'm a little surprised that it didn't get a higher rating, but i'm not also not surprised it was less than a 10.

its just such a shame to me that the departed is hailed and this one forgotten. for my money i'd see this 3 times before i see departed again.

Tony Tanti said...

Great comments Jon, I think you liked this one a bit more than me. Movie experiences are so subjective.

I definitely disagree about The Departed though, to me that is a much better movie overall. Every part of it worked for me. With We Own the Night most of it worked for me but it lost me a couple of times.

Shea said...

I thought this movie had some great scenes but overall just didn't do it for me.